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Finding Extra Hours in your Day

White Rabbit

My friends often ask me where I find the time for activities outside of uni. I’m a full time JD student, but I also work as a paralegal two days a week at a law firm, have a casual job at my local Woolworths, study French, practice Bikram yoga and play volleyball… all while trying to maintain some kind of social life.

How do I do it? I’m an organised freak, that’s how. Pretty much every second of every day is planned down to the minute. Okay, I agree it sounds a bit crazy, and like not a lot of fun, but it works. Here are my top tips for getting (and staying) super organised…

“Let me check my diary…”

Get a diary and use it. It doesn’t matter if it’s day or week to view, although I prefer a day to a page as there’s more space to plan your day out. Put all those fun things like birthdays and music festivals in, but also include things like major assessments, enrolment dates and other commitments you may have.

Factor in time for fun activities too. Go hang out with friends, do some exercise, get a massage – you deserve it! Make sure you do things like this at least once a week.

Avoid double booking by checking your diary before committing to anything, and check the days around an activity for any major assessments that you’ll probably need to be working on. The words “let me check my diary” have been permanently imprinted in my mind. I absolutely swear by my diary.

Wall calendars are your friend

I know I just told you to get a diary, but I like to have a wall calendar or planner too. This is more of a visual thing, so that you can actually see how much (or little) time you have left to work on that moot or essay. Get out your beloved highlighters and use different colours for assignments, social events and work. The colour coding allows you to see what you have on with just a quick glance.

Routine, Routine, Routine

Find a routine that works for you, and stick to it! I usually wake up and get some exercise in first thing; be it running, walking or yoga. Then it’s time to shower and get ready for the day. I tend to reserve the evenings for social outings or just relaxing at home. Make sure you stick to your routine because as soon as it’s broken, it’s the hardest thing to pick up again.

Don’t neglect the essentials

Sleep is so important when you’re a busy law student. If it’s a hectic time of semester and getting the full eight hours is looking unlikely, just try to get as many Zzzzzs as you possibly can.

If you’re a law student, you also need proper nutrition – I cannot stress this enough. Sometimes it’s difficult, especially when you need to eat on the run, but it is do-able, and you’ll feel so much better and have a lot more energy if you do eat a well-balanced diet.

If you’re trying to fit more into your schedule, make sure you know your limits and how much you can take on. Don’t ever push yourself too far, and don’t feel bad about saying no when you need to take a break. When in doubt, listen to your body.

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